Perth Scorchers v Sydney Sixers
Saturday January 2, 9:15pm
The Perth Scorchers will host an injury-depleted Sydney Sixers outfit on Saturday night at the WACA.
The Scorchers will be looking to cement their spot in the top four after a stunning run chase against the Melbourne Renegades on Wednesday night, with openers Michael Klinger and Shaun Marsh single-handedly overhauling a target of 171. It was a rare off-night for Perth’s bowling attack and coach Justin Langer may be getting apprehensive about the form of young prospect Joel Paris who has taken only two wickets in the competition thus far, whilst conceding more than nine runs an over. However the batting remains the Scorchers’ chief concern with limited quality and depth below the highly accomplished opening pair.
The Sixers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on New Year’s Eve, conceding 56 off the last two-and-a-half overs to the Adelaide Strikers, or more accurately, Travis Head. The loss was compounded by injury concerns to Michael Lumb and Brad Haddin which is a significant blow to a side already missing Moises Henriques to injury and the likes of Nathan Lyon, Steve O’Keefe, Steve Smith and Josh Hazlewood to representative duty. With two wins from five games, a loss could leave the Sixers struggling to qualify for the latter stages of the tournament.
The two BBL matches at the WACA so far this season have resulted in two wins for the chasing side with the Strikers reaching Perth’s total of 6/151 in the opening game, whilst the hosts had little trouble in running down the Brisbane Heat’s paltry 7/117 on Boxing Day. The WACA may be known traditionally as a ground that favours fast bowlers, however in the opening two games spinners have conceded just 6.17 runs an over compared to 7.31 from the quicks.
Given the disruptions to the Sixers’ starting XI it should come as no surprise that they are as big as 3.05 to overturn the defending champions who start the match as 1.47 favourites. That price is very short and one I’d be willing to take on under one proviso – that the hosts bat first.
We want to avoid the scenario of getting with the Sixers’ weakened batting line-up against the best attack in the competition, however if Perth bat first the Magenta Men have enough quality in their bowling attack to make headway into the home side’s fragile middle-order and restrict them to an attainable score. However as the Scorchers’ bowling is so potent and adept at defending low totals the innings break would be the ideal time to trade out.